posted on August 11, 2013 13:31
The All New 2014 Mazda3 West Coast Unveiling at the W Hollywood
Story by Eric Hsu, Photos by Martin Gonzalez and Luke Munnell
Hollywood. Everybody knows it. Tourists want to visit. Us Los Angeles locals know it as a part of town where the rich, beautiful and superficial are plentiful. For an expensive and potentially crazy night out on the town it's hard to beat. But once in a while, you gotta do it; especially when Mazda invites you to the W Hotel in Hollywood for a night of food, drinks, and cars.
A couple weeks ago, Martin, Mike, and I made it over to the W Hollywood, in Los Angeles, California to witness the West Coast unveiling of the all new 2014 Mazda3. The third generation 3 just might be the econobox to beat not only on paper, but also in reality. It weighs 100 pounds less than the previous generation, is lower, and wider, has a stiffer chassis, reportedly handles better, and even gets better fuel economy. While MotoIQ readers will want the Mazdaspeed version (or whatever Mazda is going to call it), the base 3 platform looks to be an excellent platform to build on. Dave Coleman has promised that the standard Mazda 3 is going to be good so we can blame him if it isn't (right, Dave?).
Mike was out in the middle of the desert doing some ultra secret suspension tuning for a big OE and I had just got back from the ALMS race in Lime Rock and caught back up with normal life. I'm not sure what Martin was doing, but he was probably busy losing weight (20 lbs!). Martin was Mike's date and I brought the wife along. Chicks dig those trendy Hollywood hotels so I scored major points that night with the wife.
The W is a nice, trendy hotel at the corner of the infamous Hollywood and Vine where the street walkers used to be plentiful in the 80's and 90's (watch Pretty Woman). The City of Los Angeles cleaned up at the turn of the century and property developers came to cash in. What you have now are several square blocks of upscale hotels, bars, clubs, and restaurants. Pay $20 to park your car at a parking lot and just walk around from restaurant, to bar, to club, to bar, to club for the rest of the night. If you drink too much, stop by one of the food trucks or Mexican hot dog carts that come out after midnight to satisfy that drunken hunger and get a hotel room afterwards...hopefully not with a dude unless you're into that. If you don't want to cough up for a hotel and want to keep on partying, head over to several of the after hours spots in the area that go until noon (they start serving alcohol at 6 a.m. again). Anyhow, while the W is a trendy hotel, it isn't one of the snooty, pretentious hotels on Sunset like the Standard or the Mondrian. The W is a Starwood property (e.g. Sheraton and Westin) so you can expect pretty good service overall even if you aren't a Hollywood local.
Pulling into the valet area, Mazda had a few examples of their past cars on display all in white. A gen 1 Mazdaspeed3, a 1st gen Miata, a 1st gen RX-7, and a Cosmo 110S.
Right behind this Cosmo 110S was a super cherry 1st gen RX-7 that was my personal favorite, but it was cool to check out all of these pristinely preserved cars up close. All of these cars are also examples of how Mazda genuinely designs and builds cars with passion.